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By 12:58 AM

Originally uploaded by looseid

A former colleague lent me these books because she thought that I would enjoy them.

It was a thoughtful gesture that she offered me a piece of literature because it reminded her of me.

However, if unsolicited, this generous and thoughtful act can quickly turn into a chore. It's basically an assignment that sets you up to deliver a book report, oral or written. And if you don't like it, you may as well have slapped your friend across the face with the actual book. But, if you don't ever get through it, you have one good reason to not see or call that friend until you do.

I have been guilty of all of these crimes. A die-hard Harry Potter fan once lent me the first book, something about a Sorcerer's Stone. I understand that this series is quite a phenomenon. However, I never caught the bug. I don't get Harry Potter at all. Every time I see that kid, I think of Rachel Dratch playing him on SNL. I returned the book unread and didn't further elaborate. In fact, I think it was lent to me twice by the same friend. Needless to say twice was not the charm, even for an extremely popular sorcerer.

My father always told me that if I lend books, LP's or money to a friend, don't expect to see it again. This may seem cynical, but it's been proven quite true and therefore less disappointing as a result.

The safe return of these unread volumes are complicated further by the fact that I recently learned that this former colleague is going through a rough patch in life, with a possible divorce, family drama and health issues. If we try to get together there is an extended therapy session involved.

I have a modest stack of books I must return to different friends. I also have a modest stack I've lent out that I should reclaim from another set of friends. While closure of any type may offer you more than what you bargained for, I will make my attempts to do so this week.

Father knows best.

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